Unveiling the nature of room-temperature-fabricated p-type SnO thin films: the critical role of intermediate phases, lattice disorder, and oxygen interstitials

Mochamad Januar, Cheng Yu Lu, Horng Chih Lin, Tsung Yu Huang*, Chia Ming Yang*, Kuo Kang Liu, Kou Chen Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

Abstract

The fabrication of p-type tin monoxide (SnO) thin films at room temperature poses significant challenges for conventional methods, primarily due to the electrically anisotropic nature and metastable phases of SnO. Because of this anisotropy, generating effective hole carriers with optimal mobility in SnO requires meticulous thermal annealing, which is nonetheless constrained by SnO's metastability. In this work, we employ ion-beam-assisted deposition (IBAD) to fabricate p-type SnO thin films at room temperature. These films, with their nanocrystalline structure, demonstrate promising electrical performance with a Hall mobility of 2.67 cm2 V−1 s−1 and hole concentration of 5.94 × 1017 cm−3, notably without the need for annealing treatment. Our investigation has revealed a unique volcano-shaped trend in Hall mobility, and inversely, in carrier concentration in response to variations in the argon flow rate during the IBAD process. This relationship, when correlated with changes in the optical properties, structural phase, and chemical state of the films, is crucial for understanding the origin of p-type conductivity in room-temperature-fabricated SnO films—a topic that remains elusive in the current literature. We observed a direct correlation between enhanced mobility and reduced lattice disorder, as well as a strong association between increasing hole carrier concentration and the formation of oxygen interstitials. We also highlight that the intermediate phase composition plays a vital role in determining the degree of disorder in the SnO film, which is essential for creating transport pathways and the oxygen environment necessary for hole carrier formation. These insights are instrumental in guiding the design and characterization of room-temperature fabricated p-type SnO thin films, thus propelling advancements in the field of large-area, flexible electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4679-4688
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Advances
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 07 03 2024

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